Italian serial killer who turned her victims into soap.
Her reason for the murders was just as bad as the murders themselves.
Leonarda Cianciulli was not loved by her parents. While the exact day of her birth is speculated, we do know that she was a product of rape. In order to save her image, Leonarda’s mother was forced to marry the man she was raped by, and the two raised Leonarda together. For obvious reason, her parents were not particularly kind to her and she had attempted suicide twice by a very young age. Unfortunately, Leonarda’s life only seemed to get worse from there.
Going against her mother’s wishes, she married a man in 1914 and moved to Italy with him. Leaving behind the arranged marriage her mother had planned for her, Leonarda had hoped to gain some control over her own life. In 1930, their house was destroyed by an earthquake and they were forced to move once again. They ended up in Correggio where Leonarda opened a little shop of her own. This shop would be the last place her victims would walk into.
A traveling fortune teller warned Leonarda that she would get married and have children, but that all of her children would die. Despite the fortune-teller’s warning, Leonarda got pregnant 17 times during her marriage. However, 10 of those children died early in their youth, and 3 were miscarriages. Leonarda was very protective of her remaining 4 children but was also very superstitious and sought the wisdom of what was described at that time as a gypsy. This traveler was supposedly a gifted palmer reader and told Leonarda that on one hand, she saw prison and the other a criminal asylum.
When Leonarda’s favorite son decided to join the Italian army she was more determined than ever to protect him. To say that Leonarda was superstitious was an understatement, and somehow she got it in her head that she would need to sacrifice women in order to protect her son while he was away.
The three victims were carefully picked and all came to Leonarda for a specific reason. The first victim, Faustina Setti, came to the shop seeking help finding a husband. Leonarda…